Oakland’s big bats silence Lumberjacks

Friday afternoon’s doubleheader with Oakland was one that the Alpena Community College softball team would surely like to forget quickly.

While the Raiders collected 25 hits on the day, including four home runs, the Lumberjacks managed just five without an extra-base hit.

Struggles at the plate and an inability to slow Oakland down added up to a long day for the Lumberjacks, who lost both games in five innings, 9-0 and 12-1.

Allie Rigling stymied ACC (2-14) in the opener and finished with a one-hit shutout with fanning 11 batters. ACC stranded three baserunners and Lindsay Ponik had the Lumberjacks’ lone hit.

“It was a little bit upsetting to go from playing really hard last weekend, to playing not as hard as I thought we could’ve played,” ACC coach Erin Riopelle said. “We spent a lot of time working on hitting, not only in a group but individually. It’s hard to have done all that work and then come here and not do better.”

Oakland scored a run in the first inning and added two in the third and three each in the fourth and fifth innings.

The Raiders tallied two runs on flyouts in the third inning, but found their groove after that. Oakland tallied the first of four home runs on the day when Sierra Burke send a two-run shot to left field give Oakland a 6-0 lead.

In the next inning, Jessica Berner hit a solo shot to center field and Oakland later added two more runs on an error.

Burke, Jenny Cedena and Maggie Irvine each had two hits for Oakland.

Things didn’t improve much for ACC in the nightcap as Oakland tallied four runs in the first inning. Caitlyn Whitehead and Hannah Rockensuess did the damage for the Raiders as each had a two-run double.

Oakland added two runs in the second inning and three more in the third inning after Irvine smacked a three-run home run to center field, giving the Raiders a 9-0 lead.

The Lumberjacks stranded two base runners in the first inning and went quietly until the fourth inning when Alyssa Griffore hit a liner to score Ponik.

Ponik, Ashleigh Monticello, Lauren Seibert and Leann Strzlecki each had a hit for ACC.

Sam Chevillet earned the win for Oakland, striking out four and allowing four hits.

The Raiders’ offense erupted again in the final inning as Karli Pawlowski hit a three-run homer to center field with two outs.

Whitehead was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Irvine was 3-for-3 with three RBIs.

Riopelle is hoping to see her team’s hitting improve when the Lumberjacks play Henry Ford in a doubleheader today beginning at 1 p.m. The two teams will also play a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

“For some of the girls, it’s a mental thing. They have to get into the right state of mind and know that we can hit the ball,” Riopelle said. “We have to come to the ball field ready to play, be in the right state of mind.”

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.